NBA

Booker's Suns sizzle in OT win over NBA-leading Jazz, Durant sparkles on return

By Sports Desk April 08, 2021

Devin Booker and Chris Paul helped the Phoenix Suns take down Donovan Mitchell and the NBA-leading Utah Jazz 117-113 after overtime.

Booker posted 35 points, while Paul finished with 29 points as the high-flying Suns moved to within a game of the best record in the league on Wednesday.

DeAndre Ayton finished with 18 points and 12 assists for the Suns (36-14), who won their seventh successive game after scoring the first five points in overtime and never trailed again.

Mitchell – who nailed a three-pointer with 10.4 seconds remaining to force OT – had a game-high 41 points, eight rebounds and three assists for the Jazz (38-13) in a thrilling encounter.

Jazz team-mate Rudy Gobert put up 16 points on seven-for-seven shooting and 18 rebounds in the losing effort on the road.

Kevin Durant made his long-awaited return in the Brooklyn Nets' 139-111 victory against the New Orleans Pelicans.

Durant had been sidelined since February 13 due to a hamstring strain, but the former NBA MVP returned as the star-studded Nets won midweek.

After a 23-game absence, Durant – initially named in the starting five – came off the bench and posted 17 points on five-for-five shooting in 19 minutes, making both of his three-point attempts.

Durant, who received an ovation from the home crowd at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, also collected seven rebounds and tallied five assists against the Pelicans midweek.

 

Westbrook fuels Wizards with triple

A Russell Westbrook triple-double of 23 points, 15 assists and 14 rebounds led the Washington Wizards past the Orlando Magic 131-116. It was Westbrook's 20th triple-double of the season as the Wizards snapped a four-game losing streak. Bradley Beal returned from a five-game absence and posted 26 points, while the Wizards made a season-best 19 three-pointers.

MVP candidate Nikola Jokic (25 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds) fell just short of his 13th triple-double of the season after the Denver Nuggets topped the San Antonio Spurs 106-96.

Grayson Allen's season-high 30 points helped the streaking Memphis Grizzlies beat the Atlanta Hawks 131-113. Jonas Valanciunas (19 points and 11 rebounds) set a franchise record with his 19th straight game with 10-plus rebounds.

 

Richardson struggles

It was a rough outing for Josh Richardson in the Dallas Mavericks' 102-93 loss to the lowly Houston Rockets. In 29 minutes, he was 0-for-nine shooting for one point. Richardson missed all six of his three-point attempts.

 

Grizzlies roar

The Grizzlies are hard to beat at the moment thanks to their collective effort. All five starters finished in double-digit points – Ja Morant tallying 19 points, seven rebounds and seven assists, including this combination with Kyle Anderson (16 points, nine rebounds, six assists and two steals).

 

Wednesday's results

Indiana Pacers 141-137 Minnesota Timberwolves
Washington Wizards 131-116 Orlando Magic
Boston Celtics 101-99 New York Knicks
Brooklyn Nets 139-111 New Orleans Pelicans
Memphis Grizzlies 131-113 Atlanta Hawks
Houston Rockets 102-93 Dallas Mavericks
Charlotte Hornets 113-102 Oklahoma City Thunder
Denver Nuggets 106-96 San Antonio Spurs
Phoenix Suns 117-113 Utah Jazz (OT)

 

Suns at Clippers

The Suns (36-14) will put their winning streak on the line when they visit Western Conference rivals the Los Angeles Clippers (34-18) on Thursday. The Clippers are third in the west, behind leaders the Jazz and second-placed Suns.

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  • Tokyo Olympics: Ganna propels Italy to world record and another gold Tokyo Olympics: Ganna propels Italy to world record and another gold

    Filippo Ganna came up with the goods for Italy when it mattered most with a stunning display of power in the final laps of the men's team pursuit final.

    Italy clinched their sixth gold of the Tokyo Olympics by overcoming favourites Denmark in a thrilling race at the Izu Cycling Centre on Wednesday.

    Ganna, the reigning world time trial champion, proved decisive as he hit the front in the final 1,000 metres, with Italy gaining a second on Denmark to cross the line in 3:42.032 and claim their eighth Olympic title in the event.

    It marks a new world record and clocked in at almost eight seconds faster than Great Britain's winning time in Rio five years ago.

    Denmark had looked well set to prove their favourites credentials after a superb opening three kilometres, but they failed to replicate the power shown by Ganna in the final laps and lost by 0.166s.

    The Danes had overcome Team GB on Tuesday to make the final, albeit in contentious fashion, with lead rider Frederik Madsen crashing into the back of Charlie Tanfield.


    FINISHING WITH A FLOURISH

    Team GB had ultimately fallen foul of a somewhat controversial judging call, which meant they had to face off against Switzerland for a seventh-place finish.

    However, the outgoing champions recovered to cruise to victory, setting the fastest Olympic time by a British quartet in the process.

    "I wouldn't say a point to prove, we just wanted to go out on a positive note, not be disappointed because we had disappointment over the last few days and we wanted to overcome that, go out on a high and look forward to Paris," Oliver Wood told BBC Sport.

    There was drama in the bronze medal race too, as Australia triumphed in a trans-Tasman tussle with New Zealand, who had to forfeit when one of their riders fell as a consequence of an overlapping wheel.

    Australia have now won eight medals in the last 10 Olympic Games in the men's team pursuit, more than any other nation.


    SPRINTING THROUGH

    Team GB were able to get over their team disappointment with some fine individual showings from Jack Carlin and Jason Kenny in the men's sprint.

    Carlin set a new Olympic record in his first heat, only to qualify as the third fastest, and though he had to survive a wobble in his second race, he progressed safely through to the quarter-finals.

    He will be joined by Kenny, who showed typical tactical nous to surprise Yuta Wakimoto on the inside. World record holder Nicholas Paul of Trinidad and Tobago also progressed.

    The women's Keirin heats also took place, with the major favourites all making it through.

    Katy Marchant – a bronze medallist in Rio – had to do it the hard way, however, after she was relegated for an infringement in her first heat. The 28-year-old atoned in the repechage to take her place in the quarter-finals.

  • Cabrera edges closer to 500th career home run, Mookie takes special catch Cabrera edges closer to 500th career home run, Mookie takes special catch

    Miguel Cabrera moved closer to his 500th career home run with number 498 in the Detroit Tigers' 4-2 win against the Boston Red Sox.

    The 38-year-old designated hitter sent Garrett Richards over the fence at right-field with the Tigers trailing 2-0 in the second inning.

    The home run takes two-time American League MVP and 11-time All-Star Cabrera's 2021 majors tally to 11 homers, and 498 for his career.

    Akil Baddoo drove in Derek Hill's to make it 3-2 to the Tigers in the fifth inning, before Robbie Grossman brought Jonathan Schoop home for an RBI single and insurance run.

     

    Polanco's game to remember

    Gregory Polanco robbed Eduardo Escobar of a walk-off homer in the ninth inning before the Pittsburgh Pirates on 8-5 over the Milwaukee Brewers.

    The catch capped a spectacular game for Polanco who brought up a no-hitter in the seventh inning by grounding a single, before the Pirates late rally.

    After a long lay-off, Hyun-Jin Ryu returned to the mound at home and tossed down eight strikeouts across seven innings as the Toronto Blue Jays won 7-2 over the Cleveland Indians.

    Bryce Harper homered in the eighth inning against his former club as the Philadelphia Phillies edged the Washington Nationals 5-4.

    Tommy Pham hit a lead-off home run, the fourth of the day, as the San Diego Padres won 8-1 at the Oakland Athletics.

     

    Five straight defeats for Red Sox

    The Red Sox' 4-2 loss to the Tigers means they have lost five games in a row, including three against the Tampa Bay Rays, one against the Toronto Blue Jays (13-1) as well as Detroit. Boston are 63-45 and drop to second behind the Rays in the American League East.

     

    Another Mookie Betts special

    Los Angeles Dodgers star Mookie Betts pulled off a spectacular diving catch on the grass just outside the diamond to rob Michael Brantley of a hit. Only two days ago Betts pulled off another special grab against the Arizona Diamondbacks. For the record, the Dodgers lost 3-0 to the Houston Astros who improve to 64-42.

     

    Tuesday's results 

    Philadelphia Phillies 5-4 Washington Nationals
    New York Yankees 13-1 Baltimore Orioles
    Toronto Blue Jays 7-2 Cleveland Indians
    Detroit Tigers 4-2 Boston Red Sox
    Minnesota Twins 7-5 Cincinnati Reds
    Miami Marlins 5-4 New York Mets
    Seattle Mariners 4-2 Tampa Bay Rays 
    Los Angeles Angels 11-3 Texas Rangers
    Pittsburgh Pirates 8-5 Milwaukee Brewers
    Chicago White Sox 7-1 Kansas City Royals
    Atlanta Braves 6-1 St Louis Cardinals
    Colorado Rockies 13-6 Chicago Cubs
    Arizona Diamondbacks 3-1 San Francisco Giants
    San Diego Padres 8-1 Oakland Athletics
    Houston Astros 3-0 Los Angeles Dodgers

     

    Padres at Athletics

    The San Diego Padres (62-47) continue their series against the Oakland Athletics (60-48).

  • Tokyo Olympics Recap: McLaughlin expected records to fall after Warholm run, teenagers dominate skateboarding Tokyo Olympics Recap: McLaughlin expected records to fall after Warholm run, teenagers dominate skateboarding

    Sydney McLaughlin admitted after watching Karsten Warholm's record-breaking men's 400m hurdles run she felt Wednesday's women's final could see records fall.

    McLaughlin smashed her own world record in her gold medal-winning time of 51.46, eclipsing her previous mark of 51.90.

    The American's run means both gold medal winners ran a world record in the women's 400m hurdles and men's 400m hurdles finals at Tokyo 2020.

    McLaughlin said she watched Warholm win the men's equivalent in 45.94, breaking his previous mark of 46.7, with amazement.

    "When I saw the time yesterday I was amazed but not surprised," she said. "I knew it was going to be a really fast race for them. It definitely shocked me and I thought tomorrow [Wednesday] is going to be something fast."

    In both 400m hurdles events, the silver medal winners ran faster than the old world record. All six medal winners ran faster than the previous Olympic records in these events.

    "I'd definitely say it's a fast track," McLaughlin said about Tokyo Olympic Stadium. "You can feel the difference. It's one of those tracks which gives you the energy."

    Silver medalist Dalilah Muhammad also broke the previous world record with 51.58, while Femke Bol from the Netherlands claimed bronze in 52.03 – a European record.

    "Anything is possible," McLaughlin said about future world records. "You have such an amazing field of women.

    "The more we race each other, anything is possible. Technically there's always more to improve upon. in terms of what's possible, it's completely limitless."

    McLaughlin's gold was the 1000th won in athletics in Olympic Games history (since 1896).

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    Five-time world champion Ana Marcela Cunha claimed the gold medal in the women's 10km marathon swim.

    The Brazilian touched first in 1.59.30.8, only 0.9 seconds ahead of reigning Olympic champion Sharon van Rouwendaal from the Netherlands. Australia's Kareena Lee claimed the bronze.

    Cunha finished 10th in her home games in Rio but the open water swimmer dominated in warm yet good conditions with minimal wind or current at Odaiba Marine Park.

    YOUNGSTERS DOMINATE SKATEBOARDING

    Japanese teenager Sakura Yosozumi won the first-ever women's park skateboarding gold medal with a best score of 60.09 in her first of three runs.

    Yosozumi beat out 12-year-old compatriot Kokona Hiraki who scored 59.04 in her second run.

    Sky Brown scored a 56.47 in her final run to claim bronze and become Team GB's youngest ever Olympic medallist, at the age of 13 years and 28 days.

    DUTCH DELIGHT IN RIO RE-MATCH

    Felice Albers scored a double as the Netherlands secured their spot in the women's hockey gold medal match after a 5-1 win over reigning champions Great Britain.

    In a re-match of the 2016 Rio gold medal showdown, the world number one Dutch side proved too strong, scoring twice within a minute in the second quarter to open up a 2-0 half-time lead.

    The Netherlands will be the favourites in the final, when they play either India or Argentina on Friday.

    Dutch coach Alison Annan said: "This was a really solid performance and when you win 5-1 in a semi-final you can only be very happy and proud of the players and the team with the performance they put together."

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